Google’s doodle honors Japanese American weightlifter Tommy Kono

Happy birthday, Tommy Kono.


In 1942, the then 12-year-old Tommy Kono was forced in an internment camp during World War II. Ten years later, the American-born weightlifter would have win a gold medal in the Olimpico games for the United States, the first in a record- career setting.

It would go on for set world record in four different weight classes, a heavy one achievement for someone who had to overcome not overcome just the suspect of his compatriots but also obstacles in your physical health. To honor the force of his achievement, Google on Sunday celebrated Kono’s 91st birthday with a animated Doodle depicting the clean and jerk, an iconic weightlifting exercise.

Tamio “Tommy” Kono was born on June 27, 1930, in Sacramento, California, to a family of Japanese descent who was initially forced to move to the Tule Lake Internment Camp of US involvement in Second World War. He was among the 120,000 Japanese Americans on the west coast forced to leave theirs homes and incarcerated during the war.

Ironically, his imprisonment would be prove beneficial. Sick as a child, the desert air to the field location near the California-Oregon border proved useful in fight Kono’s severe asthma. And it was here that weightlifting was introduced as well body building.

After more three years of internment, Kono was released from the camp and finished high school in Sacrament. In 1950 he was drafted into the United States Army during the Korean War but was exonerated from overseas duty when his Olympic potential became evident.

Kono would go on for win Olympic gold medals in 1952 and 1956, silver medals in 1960 and six straight world titles from 1953 to 1959. It would go on for set 26 world record in four weight classes and was inducted into the US Olympic Hall of Fama and the International Weightlifting Hall of Fame.

Is dead in 2016 at the age on 85, after a lifetime of proving to have the strength to overcome obstacles in his path.

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